International Construction Law Review




The first Part of the International Construction Law Review for 2023 embodies the global nature of the construction industry through a collection of articles dealing with a variety of challenges in major infrastructure projects. In international construction, common issues relating to contractual interpretation, multi-party arbitration and FIDIC time bar clauses arise irrespective of jurisdiction. This part contains a discussion of Saudi Arabian, Nigerian and Russian aspects of construction issues as well as an examination of the principles relevant to the concepts of prevention and penalties.
We begin Part 1 of the 2023 volume with Dr Ali Almihdar and Joseph Chedrawe’s article, “International Construction Contracts in Saudi Arabia: Demystifying Saudi Law and Shari’ah Principles in the Kingdom”. The laws applying to issues of construction disputes within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been characterised as inaccessible and complex. This has presented challenges in international arbitration disputes involving construction projects in the Kingdom. Dr Almihidar and Chedrawe seek to clarify the operation of Saudi laws and Shari’ah principles in the context of international construction law. The article starts with an overview of the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia underpinned by Shariah principles, specifically evaluating the four primary schools in Sunni Islam. The article then assesses general principles of contractual interpretation, including freedom of contract under Shari’ah law, where the prevailing view is parties may enter into a contract through mutual agreement but cannot decide the legal consequences of that contract unless those effects fall within and do not violate the Shari’ah. Next, they look at foundational principles common to both Saudi law and the Shari’ah are examined, specifically good faith, abuse of right and unjust enrichment, through an analysis of these principles and relevant Saudi legislation and case law. Finally, the article evaluates the application of Shari’ah principles to common disputes issues within the sphere of construction arbitration, including contractual notification, scope variations, limitation of liability, damages and non-payment.
Next is Ngo-Martins Okonmah’s article, “Multi-Party Arbitration under the Proposed Amendment to the Nigerian Arbitration Law – What Does This Mean for Construction Disputes in Nigeria?”. The significance of arbitration within Nigeria has led to a proposed amendment bill aiming to reform arbitration laws in Nigeria to align with the arbitration rules of international arbitration institutions. Okonmah provides an insight into the prospect of multi-party arbitration in Nigeria, explaining the various multi-party disputes occurring within construction projects. This includes an evaluation of how multipolar multi-party disputes may arise under various project procurement models, including through build-only contracts,


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